Does The Gender Of The Manager Affect Who He/She Networks With?

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Irene Hau-siu Chow
Ignace Ng

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Abstract

Based on a sample of 72 managers from Hong-Kong and1032 associates identified by these managers, the results show that female managers network with other females for expressive support but when seeking instrumental contents, they network with male associates.  We also found that females are less likely to approach female associates they have strong ties with but are more likely to approach similarly ranked colleagues.   They are also unlikely to approach higher ranked female colleagues to network on instrumental contents.  Taken together, these results imply that for female managers seeking instrumental support, they should focus on peer-relationships with other females as well as on male associates with whom they have strong ties with. From a stakeholder’s point view, more attention should be paid to designing and implementing social policies and integrating a gender perspective into all public policies. This calls for setting up an integrated network of structure, mechanism and processes designed to arouse more gender-awareness, increase the number of women in decision-making role, facilitate the formulate of gender-sensitive policies and programs. Long-term strategies should be developed to build up women through personal growth process, promote integration and equality in the workplace.

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